Saturday 23 February 2013

Cornish Orchards Vintage Cider 2010

I really hope this is going to be a proper vintage! I am not one of those cider fundamentalists who think that every cider has to be put into stereotypical boxes or else... each cider producer is free to translate their ciders as they will. Some would call a 6 month old cider a vintage; others would want to give it a full 12 months before doing so.

Its the same with many other aspects of cider production... many covered by the cider101's. As a producer, you just have to stand  by what you put out to the public. If its marketing/pr covered crap, then that's what it is... I won't judge you... just your ciders. You have to live with what you do.

Now, what would I class as vintage? Well, personally it means it is aged - and aged well. Certainly I don't think a cider reaches vintage quality before the following season of pressing. That is why I feel it is special. Other cider makers will have different feelings about that - its why cider making is as much art as it is science! But please don't preach telling others that one way of thinking is right... that's not how the world works:-)

So, having established that I personally feel that a Vintage cider out currently needs to come from at least the 2011 pressing, this is a vintage from a year earlier. Its not the last Cornish Orchards I have to try. I have a “Pear Cider” of theirs, for when I am feeling brave enough to start taking on the perries of this world (don’t worry, I will make sure it goes first so that I can bang on about it being called pear cider:-) However, this is the last of their ciders on my shelf and I have deliberately saved it till last as a treat to me.

Cornish Orchards describe this cider as having; “soft tannins and traditional flavours”. We shall see. It also says it has a moderate sparkle, and this is bang on the money, with it being a lovely golden colour – bright and a bit fizzy.

I am getting some fairly strong tannin in the nose of this cider – though having had the benefit of recently trying some of their other ciders I can say it seems typical. Another Devonian style of cider – that is what I am expecting.

True to type, there is some really good tannin going on here – fruity and deep. It also has a lovely level of acidity to it; sharp and yet rounded – what you would expect from a 2 year old cider! This cider really does demonstrate what Vintage is all about (as with the Green Valley before it). It is all about maturation and good storage. Mind you, with both the last vintages I could have done without the filtering and pasteurisation. I do like smokiness from my vintages. I am not sure what it is, but it makes for a richer experience. Whilst this has a touch of it, this is where the filtering takes the whole thing down a peg or so. I am sure that Mr/Mrs/Miss Cornish Orchards keeps the unfiltered stuff for themselves:-)

The aftertaste is short to moderate, although the tannins stay with you for ages. I do like this cider. It is a very good example of both vintage and Devon cider. It’s a shame it has been handled a little more harsh than I would like. Still, with 87/100 it’s a really good cider to go for. Silver apple for Cornish Orchards.

NB – You know, perhaps I should invest in some cardboard bronze, silver and gold apples to post out… if nothing else, it would lead to some rather confused cidermakers eh!!!:-)

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